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Title: Agent-based modeling of hominin spatial interactions in Europe: EMPT Dispersal and Mobility simulations developed in the METHOD IFG
Authors: Hölzchen, Ericson
Hertler, Christine
Mateos Cachorro, Ana
Rodríguez, Jesús
Berndt, Jan Ole
Lorig, Fabian
Timm, Ingo J.
Willmes, Christian
Sommer, Christian
Romanowska, Iza
Altolaguirre, Yul
García-Medrano, Paula
Ollé Cañellas, Andreu
Moncel, Marie-Hélène
Palombo, Maria Rita
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: International Union for Quaternary Research
Citation: 20th Congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA), 2019, O-4135
Abstract: The Early Middle Pleistocene transition (EMPT) occurs between about 1 to 0.6 million years and is characterized by drastic climatic changes which affected the structure and organization of ecosystems on a global scale. Stone tools and human fossils from sites located in southwestern Europe (i.e. Guadix-Baza Basin and Atapuerca, Spain; Pirro-Nord, Italy) document hominin presence in Europe at least at 1.4 million years. However, occupation patterns throughout the EMPT ranging approximately from 1.6 to 0.4 million years remain unclear as a consequence of significant technological shifts and hiatus of occupations possibly derived from multiple arrivals of populations. Due to the punctual structure of the fossil and archeological records across large time spans, it is challenging to derive the dynamics of the occupation patterns in Europe exclusively on this basis. In order to understand past hominin distribution, it is necessary to assess driving factors and mechanisms behind the spatial interactions of hominins. We apply agent-based modeling to address the question of hominin occupation patterns during the EMPT in Europe. This method permits integrating up-to-date environmental models with models of spatial interactions in dynamic simulations. In this talk, we present two exemplary models on different spatio-temporal scales that have been developed within the “Modeling Environmental Changes and Hominin Dispersals around the Mid-Pleistocene Revolution” (METHOD) IFG. Firstly, we present the “MPR Hominin Dispersal ABM” designed to examine the dispersal of stone tool technologies from Africa into Eurasia. Here, the agents represent hominin groups that exchange tool technology in various ways. Because of the large spatio-temporal scale of the model, the dynamically changing environment takes into account warm and cold phases as well as changing sea levels. Secondly, we use the “MoReDoH ABM” where an agent represents a hominin individual moving across the landscape to gather resources. We compare different mobility strategies of a hominin group within a particular region of the Baza Basin (Spain). In this case, the environmental dynamics reflect seasonal changes because this model considers mobility and migration on a regional scale. These two examples led us to discuss about the application of agent-based modeling to test hypotheses of spatial interactions at different scales. Once a model is implemented, we can assess the effect of certain factors by explicitly including or excluding them. With the aid of computational simulation we may then support or refuse common hypotheses in order to help in gaining an understanding about the spatial and foraging behavior of extinct hominins.
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Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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